Monday, May 18, 2009

feeling some kinda way

i've come down off of the romanticism a bit. it has become increasingly apparent to me that whatever was brewing between FH and i has been put on hold - indefinitely.

due to some circumstances at work, which i am not privy to all the details, he's job-searching as well - and as you may have guessed, whatever time i hoped would have been put into nurturing our relationship is not being appropriated properly. which i am actually kinda meh about the whole thing at this point. *shrug*

i have some big decisions to make, namely about my career, or in other words, what am i gonna do? one thing is for sure.... i need a job, so to some extent, whatever pays the bills is what it's gonna have to be.

i was semi-hoping to continue along the path i've carved out in academia. it's "easy" as far as expectations, it's accessible, i like the schedule, and it's practical. only it seems like things are shaking up that way, especially due to the economic fallout. i'm wholly undecided on whether this is a bad thing. right now, i'm leaning towards bad because i don't already have a paying gig lined up for when i defend this dissertation in approximately two months.

being forced out gives me the opportunity to explore outside of a career path that i was very unsure about to begin with. only question left is: ok, now what?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

FH = future husband

I updated my FB profile to say: "I had a psychic reading and it looks like I'll be getting married by 32. The next 3.5 years ought to be interesting. I wonder who it's gonna be?"

Later that day, my phone rings. And it's Old New Dude. I missed the call, but he hit me up later on IM with two words: "Probably me." Now I know these are just words, which are contigent on actions, but why did my heart swell when he said it?

After our night of passion in September, I made it crystal clear how I felt about him - How I'm interested in exploring our relationship beyond the platonic, which has been over 10 years now. We've been working pretty well on keeping the lines of communication open in anticipation of "What may be," especially since this is a long-distance situation. He's been a lot more attentive lately. Hitting me up with little "Good morning" texts, calling more frequently, asking about when to coordinate a weekend visit, and the like...

I've made it very clear that I'm playing for keeps. I'm impatient, but I'm trying to take it slow this time... I really want this to work out.

rejection letters

I got my first rejection letter for a postdoctoral job that I had applied for. I will admit... it might not have been the best fit, but the training provided sounded awesome, and I *really* liked the location.

I'm kinda ambivalent about these things... On the one hand, I would like the opportunity to explore some non-traditional career paths. On the other hand, I seek security. I keep thinking maybe the "rejection" is a blessing in disguise?


About one month ago, I was approached with the opportunity to co-author a book that addresses some key issues that young girls are experiencing on their way to adulthood. It is intended to be a guide of sorts to encourage the unlocking of their potential to be phenomenol women.

Well, looks like it is definitely in the works.... This is such a cool opportunity because (1) I've only wanted to write a book since I was twelve or so (2) it will allow me to engage my academic interests in a different way, one that has added potential to directly affect the lives of the girls I study/research and (3) the feel addresses two of my key interests - psychology and self-improvement.

Man, I am too geeked. I really hope this partnership works out. So far we have great professional synergy. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

practical vs. emotional

I've been breaking out in hives regularly about taking an academic job for at least the past few years. Even more recently, I've been breaking out into hives about this economy tanking, being homeless, and having to live with my parents. Despite my best efforts, somehow I have been "common sensed" into applying for academic positions. I'm waiting to hear back from fellowship applications as we speak.

It haunts me that it is fear that drove me to apply for these jobs in the first place. It represents the path of least resistance, perhaps the most likelihood to be finally live an independent adult lifestyle, but also what has been plaguing me for some time now. It has become abundantly clear to me that I know I can do the job, but will I be happy?

taking a new path in life

Somewhere deep down inside of me lives a free-spirited bohemian chick. She loves to learn just for the sake of knowledge and changes her "career" just as the wind blows...

For the past two years, I have contemplated taking the road less traveled, and abandoning my academic career. Why? I think I've maxed out my scholarly aptitude - or at least in the way that I'm supposed to apply it, which is reading articles and writing papers. I've fiddled with the idea of launching a career as a writer (still wanna write that great novel someday), learning the craft of makeup artistry, becoming fluent in Spanish, as well as mastering the craft of interior design. Something low-pressure, something that saves me from my "save the world" tendencies.

Lately "coincidences" have been popping up... I was watching a show on TVOne where Malik Yoba was talking about wanting a woman who knew her purpose in life. He even went so far as to say that he would catch a woman on the dance floor and question her; if she hesitated, then she was unclear and that was all he needed to know to keep it moving. So I started thinking, OK, what's my purpose? Why am I unsure of the answer? Again? (I have an answer that I formulated about 6 years ago, which I will revisit in a later post.)

I also had a tarot card reading yesterday.... This "seer" predicted a move within the next year for me. I attributed this to finishing my Ph.D. program and taking one of the postdocs I applied for, if offered. She predicted a "change in team configuration" on the job. I also attributed this to leaving my lab and joining a new one in a postdoc. THEN she told me that I would be moving to Atlanta.


Ever since that moment, I have been semi-obsessed with this thought. I'm not enthralled with Atlanta as the "Black Mecca" as other seem to claim it. The traffic is horrendous. The relationship scenario doesn't look too promising, if I gauge the response of the millions of single professional Black women who live in this city and cannot find a Black man to settle down with. However, I do think that there are a wide range of professional networks to explore, along with the chance to reinvent myself by taking a new path, so to speak.

I cannot tell you how many times Atlanta has come up. At one point last year, bestie and I had talked in passing about moving here. My former therapist mentioned that perhaps this might be a good place for me. Randomly, a guy I went to school with mentioned the same thing a few weeks ago. My girlfriend wants me to come so at least she doesn't have to be here by herself. And now this.

Am I supposed to be reading between the lines here? Or am I getting carried away and seeing what I want to see?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

commitment issues

Posted today by DivineInspiration - this was REALLY speaking to me

Do you have commitment issues?

Let me ask you a couple of questions…
Are you committed to anything in your life 100%?
Are you committed to yourself 100%
What would happen if you committed to yourself – your success, your happiness, and your growth – 100%?

I have a confession to make: I was once an undercover commitmentphobe. On the surface, I appear very committed to things: my life, my spiritual and personal development, my career, and my health. And I am. I am a disciplined person – able to make lasting changes in my life and consistently make choices that are in alignment with my goals. However, every now and then, traces of my commitmentphobia appear, and I deal with them accordingly.

This occurred to me over the course of the past few months as several situations have presented themselves that required commitment – and even though I’ve been able to discern what was right for me and what wasn’t and then make great decisions, I still felt that hesitation…the shortness of breath, the mental clenching, the 3 year old in my head saying, “Do we HAVE to? We have to do this for how long??? What if we wanna do somethin’ else?” I attribute my commitment issues to a need for variety and to my disdain for monotony and feeling “boxed in”. I think this is why I am an entrepreneur, and this is why I do very well with the things I commit to and do nothing at all when I’m lukewarm…I need to always feel that I have a CHOICE…never feeling stuck, always knowing that my consistent, stable behavior is a choice of mind and that like a bird, I could fly away at any given moment. Power lies in our ability to choose.

I don’t really have a problem with the idea of being in things for the long haul – after all, my business, my health, and marriage (very soon) all require focus, discipline, and commitment. I’m all for it – I cheer those commitments on. I decided to explore this seeming contradiction because I’ve discovered that a LOT of people feel the way I do – they want to do things, but the idea of being “stuck” is enough to make them jump off of a bridge – myself included. However, these same people are often extremely committed to a handful of things in their lives. I wondered if the issue was them not understanding the benefit of the prospective commitment versus the current commitment, but then something occurred to me…

People who are able to succeed at being committed to other people and things are typically those who are committed to themselves first. That’s an interesting thought, right? Let’s unpack it.

What is required of you to commit to yourself? I mean, to REALLY commit to yourself…that would mean taking yourself somewhat seriously – thinking critically about where you are in your life, where you want to go, and what you plan to do about it. Then you would have to DO something about it, starting today. It would require that you love yourself with reckless abandon and be hopelessly devoted to your growth and success on every level. Scary, huh?

I remember standing at the door of all the things I wanted about 2 years ago – success, love, achievement, money, peace of mind, freedom, space to be who I wanted to be. That season in my life was life-changing to say the least, but as I reflect on it, the key that unlocked the door was – wait for it – commitment.

I found it scary, unnerving, and uncomfortable at first. I didn’t really know what I was committing to…I had a fuzzy idea of what I wanted from life and for myself, but I wasn’t quite sure WHO I was or who I was supposed to be so I decided to simply commit to finding out. People always say, “Be yourself”…but what if you’re not sure who you are? What if you’re still exploring all the complexities that comprise YOU? You are entitled to the process of discovery. That process should be safe for you – free of judgment and stumbling blocks. After commitment, the best things you can have are an open mind, a pen and a pad, and people who love and support your evolution. The people are important because self-actualized, happy, successful people can be an invaluable asset in your personal growth and development. And having people in your corner who truly believe in you and are committed to your success will change your life.

I was fortunate enough to have all 3 and my life looks COMPLETELY different as a result. The woman I was 2 years ago would not even recognize the woman I am today – and it’s exhilarating to be authentic, to be completely comfortable in my own skin, and to live life on my own terms with no shame, confusion, or doubt. And in addition to having grown into a woman who I love, trust, admire, respect, and cherish, I’ve also gotten more comfortable jumping out of the proverbial planes in my life – committing and surrendering myself to new experiences, remembering that there’s always a lesson for me and I choose the meaning of my life. As I nurture my relationship with myself, my spirit grows richer and so does my life.

And the interesting thing is that I didn’t get ALL of those things right away…in fact, it’s been a process – a steady, daily process. But as I look up from time to time, I notice that the pieces of the puzzle of my life are beginning to fit together and in a seamless, beautiful way that gives me EXACTLY what I want and then some. And the feeling is indescribable.

Commitment…sometimes we think we need inspiration or motivation when all we really need is to commit to what we say we want and then get on with the business of being, doing, and having. As I coached a client the other day, I explained this to her…that she just needed to commit. She didn’t need all of these external things – SHE was the answer to her burning questions.

So, I’ll ask you again…
What would happen if you committed to yourself – your success, your happiness, and your growth – 100%?
What are you waiting for? Let’s GO! You can do it – if your mind can conceive it, you can achieve it. Don’t waste another day wondering and singing should have, could have, would haves. Do something, anything, today. You owe it to yourself to be the best you and to live well. You’re worth it!

May God’s richest blessings be with you in 2009 and beyond!

With love,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

wise words

"Don't let people, problems, and the pain of your past: pause your present, punish your person, prison your potential, and paralyze your progress. I will begin by walking boldly into my future and will not allow others to hold me back." -Angela Davis

Saturday, February 21, 2009

finding my paper clip

Are you willing to remain on the lookout for ANYTHING, no matter how small, that might help you escape, survive, and thrive?

Are you willing to take some steps, even small ones, to escape unsatisfactory circumstances?

Are you willing to immediately reach for ANY opportunities that might come across your path?
My immediate response: Dayum, I think I may love this woman. Tell the truth and shame the devil. *waves around church fan* It actually hurts my heart that the Black community has devolved into this mess. And she is absolutely right.... a lot of these communities have turned into sun-down towns. There are certain sections of town that you would not catch me dead after 6 pm - and I know it's the same way all across America.

My parents live in a predominately Black middle-class community. I feel absolutely safe out there, but to admit this in public, or to admit that you feel safer in all-white middle class communities is interpreted as race-traitor-ism. Well, you know what? I'll be that. Some of my parents' friends made snide comments about me moving in an apartment on the "White" side of town and "why the hell did I move out there." I really wanted to ask them when is that last time that folks were shooting right outside her door? I just REFUSE to do it.

So to the question at hand - are we ready and willing? I am. I had to get broke down to realize that things had to be done differently. And right now I'm talking about my physical and mental health. It took me being unable to drag myself out of bed and wanting to hide from my family/friends to finally seek the help I needed to manage my depression. Therapy + medication saved my life. I'm not even exaggerating here.

I've only recently began to take to heart how my physical health has been suffering. I'm an emotional eater, my work is extremely stressful, as well as culturally-alienating being in white environments most of the time. While earning a Ph.D., I gained 50+ pounds that I couldn't stand to gain in the first place. I very well understand the "I cannot do all of that" because I was there for YEARS. But guess what? I'm getting up earlier in the morning and taking myself straight to the gym for a workout.

It took me realizing that work (and hell, sometimes family and "friends") will completely drive you into the ground if you let them. I will be the one having a heart attack at 40. Not them. And I decided that I couldn't, WOULDN'T do it.

AND MY GOODNESS, this excerpt spoke VOLUMES TO ME:

In terms of working AA women, I challenge anyone to tell me exactly how our collective quality of life is substantially different from that of our enslaved foremothers.

For most of us, there is never enough of what we need, let alone any abundance in our lives.

For most of us, there are no men protecting or providing for us and our children.

For most of us, there is no true fellowship. Instead there is plenty of misery that loves company.
I have felt this way more times than I can even begin to count. I'm constantly searching for paper clips. I gotta take care of me, first and foremost. Even if it's baby steps aka dragging my tired, broke down self to the gym and to the therapist when I don't feel like I have the energy.

this was really profound to me

I've only been lightweight reading and doing the exercises in a book I picked up several months ago. It's a book about dating, self-improvement, and finding the "one," but part of the work along the way is to DIG DEEP and face those parts of ourselves we rarely let see the light of day.

I thought this excerpt was so cold that I had to save and quote:

"Our woundedness is actually an opportunity for enlightenment - for truthfully, apart from a lifetime of victimization, there is really no other option. I always think of those of us who've been born into a deeply troubled situation to be like samarai warriors - the ones who are profoundly committed and dedicatde to evolving spiritually - because you almost can't not do that, with woundings as severe as the one you've just described. These difficult wounds call us to be the best that we can be, and often will serve as a catalyst for us to discover what it is that we have to offer others. In this way our wounding actually transforms into what we call our 'Sacred Wound' - because wherever you've suffered most is where you have the opportunity to contribute the greatest amount." - Katherine Woodward Thomas, "Calling in the One"

What is your Sacred Wound? I have a strong idea of what mine might be. It has everything to do with the psychology of emotional eating, weight, and body image that resonates within the Black female experience. Or at least this is what I figured as I dragged myself to the gym this morning.